Apr 27 2009
By Jon Gales
James is on vacation from his column dutues this week so he asked me to pitch hit for Power User Monday–a position I once filled. It’s my pleasure.
Since I’m a web developer, I’m always using FTP, the most popular way to get files from here to there on the web. Panther introduced a rebuffed system for loading FTP servers in the Finder, and it’s actually quite handy for those times you’re on another machine and just need quick access to FTP. No need to rush to Panic.com to download a demo of Transmit while you’re at a client’s office! It should be noted that although this is a great feature in Panther, I still use Transmit as my FTP client. It offers a lot more–this is just a quick hack. And no, I’m not being paid by Panic. I really do just use their product. Really.
When you’re in the Finder, just hit Command-K. You’ll be prompted to type a server address. For the example, I’m going to type mobiletracker.net (the mobile phone news site that I run). Depending on the server, you may have to tell it to use FTP by putting ftp:// before the address. After OS X has made contact with the server of your choice and has decided that a compatible protocal is available (it doesn’t technically have to be FTP), you’ll be asked for a username/password. I’m not going to tell you what I’m using for obvious reasons.
If your login was correct, you’ll be asked to select the volume you want to mount. In my case, there’s only one choice. I’m not sure why it asks when there is only one choice, but it’s probably because there are cases where you are expecting more than one and would like to know if something is missing. Still seems odd though. Press OK and look in a Finder window. Mounted just like any regular disk is your FTP server! You can navigate around just like it was any other folder, except it will probably be a little slower because it’s not a local drive.